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GNU Radio Hack Chat

Derek Kozel will be joining us in the Hack Chat to talk about GNU Radio. Bring your questions and comments.

Friday, August 31, 2018 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Derek Kozel will be hosting the Hack Chat on Friday, August 31st, 2018 at noon PDT. 

Time zones got you down? Here's a handy time converter!

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Derek Kozel and Nate Temple are officers with the GNU Radio project, taking on various development and community efforts to keep the project moving forward. Both are organizers of this year's GNU Radio Conference. Martin Braun is the community manager, PyBOMBS maintainer, and GNU Radio Foundation Officer.

GNU Radio is a free & open-source software development toolkit that provides signal processing blocks to implement software radios. It can be used with readily-available low-cost external RF hardware to create software-defined radios, or without hardware in a simulation-like environment. It is widely used in hobbyist, academic and commercial environments to support both wireless communications research and real-world radio systems. 

  • GNU Radio Hack Chat Transcript

    Eric Mortensen08/31/2018 at 20:15 0 comments

    Eric Mortensen3:13 PM
    So, we're lucky to have a sizable GNU Radio contingent here today, and I'd love it if everyone involved could write a little about who they are and what they do within the org.

    Tom Nardi joined  the room.3:14 PM

    Wetwork joined  the room.3:14 PM

    Derek Kozel3:14 PM
    Bios!

    Martin Braun3:15 PM
    I'm more of a UEFI guy

    Derek Kozel3:15 PM
    troll

    Derek Kozel3:15 PM
    I'm enthusiastic. I think that's the biggest point. I did my university in electrical and computer engineering and joined the Amateur Radio club after the first year.

    Marcus Müller3:16 PM
    so, how did you end up with GNU Radio, by the way?

    Wetwork3:16 PM
    Good Day everyone

    Derek Kozel3:16 PM
    I was really fortunate that it had some ancient equipment and neglected in the corner a software defined radio

    Mike Anderson3:16 PM
    @Derek Are you still a HAM?

    Derek Kozel3:16 PM
    Yes I am. MW0LNA in the UK

    Derek Kozel3:16 PM
    and K0ZEL in the USA. mostly "active" in the microwave bands

    Clayton Smith3:17 PM
    That's a pretty sweet call sign!

    Mike Anderson3:17 PM
    @Derek, Cool, I'm WB4PHJ here in just outside of Washington, DC.

    Martin Braun3:17 PM
    Derek gets more ham cred just for his call signs than others for their gear :)

    Derek Kozel3:17 PM
    Marcus, I got into GNU Radio during my masters. I did an evolutionary algorithms project optimizing digital modulation and used GNU Radio as the simulator

    Derek Kozel3:17 PM
    I forget why I knew about it at that point

    Derek Kozel3:18 PM
    I ended up presenting that work at GNU Radio Conference in Washington DC, 2014

    Mike Anderson3:18 PM
    Is GNU radio being used in any commercial transceivers?

    Marcus Müller3:18 PM
    @Mike Anderson indeed, it is!

    Marcus Müller3:18 PM
    There's a company running satellite base stations, for example.

    Derek Kozel3:18 PM
    Absolutely

    Mike Anderson3:18 PM
    Cool, which ones if you can think of any?

    Martin Braun3:18 PM
    That said, we often have a hard time finding out about who is using GNU Radio

    Derek Kozel3:19 PM
    I can't think of anyone openly selling radios intended for the general public that use GNU Radio

    Derek Kozel3:19 PM
    but there are a fair number of commercial specialized systems that use it, often designed by the company actually using the systems

    Mike Anderson3:19 PM
    I can imagine that not many users are willing to say that publicly. But, under GPL, don't they have to reveal that?

    Nate3:19 PM
    I'm one of the GNU Radio Project Officers. I have been involved with organizing the upcoming GNU Radio Conference 2018 in Henderson, NV. I’ve rebuilt the gnuradio.org site to migrate it from a WP arch. One of the pet projects I am working on is a web/browser based version of GRC/frontend for GNU Radio.

    Martin Braun3:20 PM
    While we're at it: I'm the community manager for GNU Radio, and have done various activities for the project over the last 10 years. Also a member of the foundation.

    Eric Mortensen3:21 PM
    Thanks for the intros. Nice to meet you! Here's a question from @Chris Handwerker:

    "I'm a ham and a programmer who would like to get their feet wet with SDR and GNU radio.

    What's the best place to get started for someone with a decent technical background? Is there a kit or a specific SDR I should get? Could you recommend good literature?"

    Derek Kozel3:21 PM
    GPL would require them to release the source code directly using GNU Radio to their customers if they sold a system that used GNU Radio

    Martin Braun3:21 PM
    @Chris Handwerker : I would get my hands on an RTL-SDR dongle first

    Tim joined  the room.3:21 PM

    Derek Kozel3:21 PM
    If it's internal to a company then the end user already has access to the Source code

    Marcus Müller3:21 PM
    @Mike Anderson I'd argue a talk titled "A Global Satellite Communications Network with...

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morgan wrote 08/31/2018 at 19:43 point

Have any GR members been following progress on the USB3->HDMI converter as the "RTL-SDR of TX"? Does this show promise to be usable in gnu-radio? 

https://hackaday.com/2018/04/23/spoofing-cell-networks-with-a-usb-to-vga-adapter/

  Are you sure? yes | no

Derek Kozel wrote 08/31/2018 at 20:18 point

This didn't get a chance in the Hack Chat so I'll give it a stab. Yes, a bunch of us have been following it as individuals. There is already GNU Radio support for it (from day 1 I think).

There are some warning labels needed for the project as, unsurprisingly, a VGA/HDMI DAC was never intended to be an RF transmitter. You really (practically and legally) need to add filters to them to prevent broadcasting into licensed frequencies with harmonics. There's been work to do that and use an adapter board to turn the VGA/HDMI into more usable RF connectors.
https://twitter.com/sync_channel/status/995482305891364864

That board includes a broadcast FM bandpass filter, but could be adapted for the 443 MHz ISM band or 144 MHz Amateur Radio band.

I bet we see some cool projects using that as a super cheap and standardized DAC in the future. For now it's a bit more involved than I've personally had time for.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Chris Handwerker wrote 08/31/2018 at 19:10 point

I'm a ham and a programmer who would like to get their feet wet with SDR and GNU radio.

What's the best place to get started for someone with a decent technical background? Is there a kit or a specific SDR I should get? Could you recommend good literature?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Zilvinas LY2SS wrote 08/31/2018 at 19:09 point

I would like to know is there any way or example how to pass variable to vector source via python using tcp. Thank you.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Godziluu wrote 08/30/2018 at 17:11 point

pls explain the relationship with pothos, is pothos the next generation replacement of GRC (gnu radio companion)?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Godziluu wrote 08/30/2018 at 17:07 point

PyBombs look like a rather generic tool for building software with multiple dependencies, has it been used for other projets outside of gnu Radio?

  Are you sure? yes | no

eng wrote 08/29/2018 at 23:04 point
"Derek Kozel will be hosting the Hack Chat on Friday, August 31st, 2018 at noon PDT. 

Time zones got you down? Here's a handy time converter!"

Or you could just  recognise that you have a significant global audience and list UTC as well

Shuffles off  to go be grumpy somewhere else ;-)

  Are you sure? yes | no

eng wrote 08/29/2018 at 22:58 point

I'll second that ! We wasted a huge amount of time and frustration on a win10 install as a result of confusion and clashes over python version conflicts. Sadly ended up ditching Pothos and ran GRC in a tux vm, which brought a whole new raft of issues but at least we got to run some necessary sims. Overall an intensely frustrating experience, moreso from understanding the vast potential of the system...

  Are you sure? yes | no

Godziluu wrote 08/29/2018 at 17:42 point

I found that gnu radio is difficult to recompile on Windows, there are many possibilities (python 2 or python 3.x, msvc compiler, msys2 gcc, Cygwin gcc)  what is the easiest/recommended build tooling ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Chris Handwerker wrote 08/29/2018 at 18:01 point

>  what is the easiest/recommended build tooling ?

GNU/Linux

  Are you sure? yes | no

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